Over recent weeks, we’ve seen key judgments being delivered on employment status for gig economy workers. We summarise below three of these judgments and explain the impact they are likely to have on those businesses wishing to engage a flexible workforce.
The Government has published its Good Work Plan. This sets out a number of changes to employment law designed to offer more protection for agency workers, zero-hours workers and others with atypical working arrangements. The Good Work Plan is the Government’s latest response to the recommendations made by the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices which was published in July 2017.
Employment Tribunal fees were abolished on 26 July 2017 and, since then, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of claims submitted.
The Supreme Court has clarified what amounts to “unfavourable treatment” for the purposes of a claim for discrimination arising from disability under the Equality Act 2010.
New employers are responsible for any accrued national minimum wage liabilities following a TUPE transfer. HMRC has confirmed changes to its enforcement of national minimum wage liabilities where there has been a TUPE transfer.
The IR35 rules, introduced in 2000, are aimed at reducing tax avoidance by contractors who provide their services via personal service companies. In broad terms, these rules seek to establish whether those classed as self-employed should actually be deemed to be employees for the purposes of paying tax. HMRC has been concerned for some time that many personal service companies who should be applying the IR35 rules do not.
New employment tribunal statistics for the quarter April to June 2018 have recently been published by the Ministry of Justice. The number of single claims lodged during this period increased by 165% compared with the same period in 2017, and the number of multiple claims increased by 344% (we understand that this sharp increase was due to a large multiple airline claim being commenced during this period).
In Brooknight Guarding Limited v Matei, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that a security guard employed on a zero-hours contract was not a permanent employee but an agency worker under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (“the Regulations”).
New guidance on references has been published by employment relations body, Acas.
This guidance sets out a number of useful points for both employers and employees relating to the provision of references, including:
Can a disciplinary investigation that is considered “too thorough” render a dismissal unfair? In the case of NHS 24 v Pillar, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that including previous issues not treated as disciplinary offences at the time within a subsequent disciplinary investigation report does not, in itself, render a dismissal unfair.
Uber drivers are ‘workers’ whilst Deliveroo riders are ‘self-employed’. The question of how we define employment status and the implications for tax and employment rights is one of the biggest issues in modern employment law.